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Academic Paper

Title: Determining language dominance in English–Mandarin bilinguals: Development of a self-report classification tool for clinical use
Author: Valeria P. C. Lim
Institution: Singapore General Hospital
Author: Susan J. Rickard Liow
Institution: National University of Singapore
Author: Michelle Lincoln
Institution: University of Sydney
Author: Yiong Huak Chan
Institution: National University of Singapore
Author: Mark Onslow
Institution: University of Sydney
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: In multilingual Asian communities, determining language dominance for clinical assessment and intervention is often complex. The aim of this study was to develop a self-report classification tool for identifying the dominant language in English–Mandarin bilinguals. Participants ( = 168) completed a questionnaire on language history and single-word receptive vocabulary tests (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test type) in both languages. The results of a discriminant analysis on the self-report data revealed a reliable three-way classification into English-dominant, Mandarin-dominant, and balanced bilinguals. The vocabulary scores supported these dominance classifications, whereas the more typical variables such as age of first exposure, years of formal instruction, and years of exposure exerted only a limited influence. The utility of this classification tool in clinical settings is discussed.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 29, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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